10 Interesting Facts about William Howard Taft

These following facts about William Howard Taft is definitely going to give you much information about what Taft has been doing during his entire life: how great and amazing he was. William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States from 1921 to 1930. He is also the only person to have served in both of these offices. Before becoming President, Taft, a Republican, was appointed to serve on the Superior Court of Cincinnati in 1887. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about William Howard Taft you may like to know.

Facts about William Howard Taft 1: Early Life

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1857.  His father, Alphonso Taft, was a prominent lawyer who later served as both Attorney General and Secretary of War under Ulysses S. Grant.

Facts about William Howard Taft 2: Education and Marriage

Like his father before him, Taft attended Yale, graduating second in his class, then returned to Cincinnati in 1878 to study law.  He met Nellie Herron the following year, and they were married in 1886.  Nellie’s father was a law partner of president Rutherford B. Hayes. Nellie suffered a stroke just a few months after her husband became president and she never fully recovered.

Facts about William Howard Taft - William Howard Taft

Facts about William Howard Taft – William Howard Taft

Facts about William Howard Taft 3: Court

Taft rose in prominence very quickly after being admitted to the Ohio bar in 1880.  He served first as an Assistant Prosecutor in Cincinnati, and by 1887, at only 30 years of age, he was elected as a judge to the Ohio Superior Court in Cincinnati.  Three years later, Benjamin Harrison appointed him as Solicitor General of the United States, arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Facts about William Howard Taft 4: U.S Court of Appeals

Following his term as Solicitor General, Taft was appointed in 1892 as a judge to the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.  During his time as a circuit judge, his old law school was merged with the University of Cincinnati to become UC’s College of Law, and Taft served as its first dean and taught Constitutional Law there.

Facts about William Howard Taft - Official White House Portrait

Facts about William Howard Taft – Official White House Portrait

Facts about William Howard Taft 5: Lifelong Ambition

Taft’s lifelong ambition had been to serve as a justice for the U.S. Supreme Court, and everything he had done in his career up to that time had been in preparation for this goal.  However, in 1900, William McKinley asked him to take part in organizing a government for the Philippines, which had just been ceded to the United States as a result of the Spanish-American war.  Taft reluctantly agreed, becoming Governor-General of the new territory in 1901.

Facts about William Howard Taft 6: Secretary of War

Following McKinley’s death in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt offered to nominate Taft to the Supreme Court, and although this was Taft’s undoubted ambition, he declined the offer because he felt that his job was not yet done in the Philippines.  Instead, Taft became Secretary of War in 1904, a position which would allow him to continue his work in building the Philippines.  He again turned down an offer for the Supreme Court in 1906.

Facts about William Howard Taft - First Cabinet

Facts about William Howard Taft – First Cabinet

Facts about William Howard Taft 7: Blacks and Immigrants

Taft met with Booker T. Washington and publicly endorsed his program for uplifting the African American race, advising them to stay out of politics at the time and emphasize education and entrepreneurship.

Facts about William Howard Taft 8: Judicial Appointments

Besides his Supreme Court appointments, Taft appointed 13 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 38 judges to the United States district courts. Taft also appointed judges to various specialty courts, including the first five appointees each to the United States Commerce Court and the United States Court of Customs Appeals.

Facts about William Howard Taft - U.S Supreme Court Justice

Facts about William Howard Taft – U.S Supreme Court Justice

Facts about William Howard Taft 9: Nomination

On June 30, 1921, following the death of Chief Justice Edward Douglass White, President Warren G. Harding nominated Taft to take his place. For a man who had once remarked, “there is nothing I would have loved more than being chief justice of the United States” the nomination to oversee the highest court in the land was like a dream come true.

Facts about William Howard Taft 10: Accomplishment

In 1922, Taft traveled to Great Britain to study the procedural structure of the English courts and to learn how they dropped such a large number of cases quickly. During the trip, King George V and Queen Mary received Taft and his wife as state visitors.

Facts about William Howard Taft - Taft's Headstone

Facts about William Howard Taft – Taft’s Headstone

Hope you found those William Howard Taft facts really interesting and useful to read.

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